Meting out diversity

The whole diversity thing bothers me. Has for some time. We seem to love the optics of diversity, but not so much the reality.  And so we mete out our diversity in acceptable chunks at acceptable moments. And in doing so we can fool ourselves – most of the time. We also mete out our encounters with diversity such that they don’t necessarily have to … Continue reading Meting out diversity

Books I wish would be published

I’ve been asked to be on a panel at the AFCC to chat about “Books Teachers Wish Authors Would Write” from a teacher / librarian perspective. So I put the question out on one of my teacher-librarian networks (an international one) and these were the responses I received: World war 2 in Asia- novel for 8-10 year olds (NF / NNF) big shortage of narrative … Continue reading Books I wish would be published

ETL402 Critical Reflection

Reading Haven (2007) was a great way to set the scene for this course. Even if we were not all literature “converts” before starting the course, understanding the research behind the power of stories would make us so. Of all the themes I think the second module – concerning diversity – was the one that engaged me most passionately and emotionally. Smolen and Oswalds’ (2011) … Continue reading ETL402 Critical Reflection

The right to write

One of the most difficult aspects of my last assignment on multicultural and diverse literature (MCD) was coming to grips with the extent to which all literature, including MCD literature is dominated by white and/or western based authors.  When I have more headspace I’d like to write an article on what kind of criteria one could apply to assess the legitimacy of authors to tackle … Continue reading The right to write

It can’t get any worse … can it?

Deep into my readings on this topic and it’s not making me feel particularly cheerful.  The statistics are appalling. On the one hand one should be glad that there are enough people who care enough to keep count. On the other, it doesn’t appear that the counting leads to any measurable improvement. Here are the statistics from 2002 to 2014 from Cooperative Children’s Book Center School … Continue reading It can’t get any worse … can it?

if you name it will it come?

One of the questions I have about diversity in literature is “who does it serve”?  I know the “mirrors, windows, doors” argument but sometimes I wonder how much my relatively, well probably actually absolutely privileged mainly expatriate international school students buy into it all.  Or for that matter any student of privilege.  My “Iqbal” or “Fatima” will never have seen the inside of a sweat … Continue reading if you name it will it come?

The best of times, the worst of times

After reading the Zipes (2009) chapter two quotations sprang to mind: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” (Oscar Wilde) and “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” (Evelyn Beatrice Hall) The former quote with reference to the idea that children’s’ “literature” is being replaced with an inferior commercialised foundling and … Continue reading The best of times, the worst of times